Meteorites, an asteroid simulation and a space quiz game are all tucked between stacks of books at the Perry Public Library.
The library is hosting the Discover Space: A Cosmic Journey exhibit from May 4 to July 27. A kickoff event will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, May 4.
Director Mary Murphy said the Perry Public Library is one of only eight libraries in the United States to receive the exhibit.
Murphy applied for the traveling exhibit in 2015. The exhibit is part of the STAR Library Education Network led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. The American Library Association is a partner.
The Perry Public Library is the eighth library to display the exhibit. Various stations are set up around the library. Topics include the solar system, asteroids and comets, Mars exploration and more.
Visitors can explore each of the stations to learn more about space and astronomy. Many of the stations feature an interactive element.
“This one is kind of fun because you can send the meteor or the comet anywhere on Earth, like your hometown, and you can see what the damage is going to be,” Murphy said of one of the kiosks.
Visitors can also build a solar system, launch a space shuttle and dress up as an astronaut to report on the weather from the moon through a green screen.
Banners are scattered throughout the library with more information on Jupiter, stars and more.
Students from the Perry Elementary and St. Patrick’s Schools will be touring the various Discover Space exhibits in the next few weeks.
“Our hope is they get excited about it and so they come back,” Murphy said of the one hour visits. “It’s just like a taste.”
Kids aren’t the only ones who can learn from the Discover Space exhibit.
“It’s fun how you keep learning and learning,” Murphy said of herself and her fellow librarians.
The group was trained on how to operate the various interactive exhibits. Murphy said she’s still learning new facts each time she looks at the exhibit.
She encourages the public to come and check the Discover Space exhibit out for themselves. Visitors are welcome to keep coming back to learn more at each kiosk over the next few months.
The kickoff event will start at 6 p.m. on May 4. Those who visit every kiosk and fill out a form will be entered into a grand prize drawing for an all-inclusive visit to the Science Center of Iowa.
The Discover Space exhibit will run through July 27.